29.9.09

Blast from the Past #2 - High Expectations

BFTP #2 - High Expectations
Type: Editorial
For: Coquitlam Now My Generation Column
Written: April 2005 (grade 10)


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When I was a kid, I sat on my grandfather’s lap, and he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered the way any young Canadian boy would, that I wanted to play in the NHL. To this, my grandpa replied, “No, Chris, no. Hockey is a game, not a career. You should be a doctor. Doctors are esteemed; doctors bring prestige and wealth to the family. You need to bring honor to this household.”
Since then, I have lived the past 12 years of my life trying my hardest to “bring honor to my household.” Entering grade 11, the decisions that I make will begin to determine my future and my career. Will I attend a post-secondary institution? If so, what will I study? Sciences? Arts? Or maybe music? What is my career goal? Where do I see myself in ten years? These questions and more contribute to the mounting pressure that high-school students experience from within. However, the pressure often stems from expectations at home as well. Pressure from family can drastically affect a student’s choices.
Some families just wish for their children to be happy. Whatever the child decides to become, he has the blessing of the family. Some families push their children in one direction, but ultimately, they leave the choice up to the child himself. And then there are some families whose expectations for their children are strict and uncompromising.
In Asian culture and society, there are three professions - huge generalization, mind you - that are of the utmost prestige and honor: medicine, applied scientist (eg. engineering,) and business. If one pursues any of these, one will enjoy longevity and wealth. As a CBA (Canadian-born Asian,) it’s easy to understand my grandfather’s concern over my future, and it’s also easy to ignore it. But lately, as I begin to contemplate the upcoming year, I find the decisions regarding my studies increasingly influenced by my desire to please my family.
I plan to become a journalist, or maybe a teacher, neither of which are professions which will “bring prestige, wealth and honor to my household.” This, of course, is not true at all, as journalists and teachers are both highly-regarded in our society today. However, on a recent trip to Toronto, my grandmother took me aside and told me, “Christopher, you are the youngest and last male in our family. You’re the only hope to carry on the family name.” I was confused. My cousin is a chef, and my brother an officer in the military. Yet somehow, the duty to carry on the family name falls to me. How is this possible?
Lately, I’ve been giving second thought to my aspirations to become a journalist. The second thought? Will it please my relatives? In a way, those of you reading this must think it pathetic that I would base my entire future on the opinions of a few family members who probably won’t even be alive to see me pursue it. I myself also find it somewhat ridiculous at times. Why should the expectations of others alter MY life?
Someday, I hope to be a grandfather as well. And when my grandchild sits on my lap, I’ll ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. And I’ll leave it at that.

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26.9.09

Mac Mac Mac Mac Nom Nom Nom Nom

Yesterday I was in the process of completing my nightly pre-sleep routine when my computer exploded. (Segue: my pre-sleep routine consists of: one episode of The Office followed by 50 pushups followed by drinking half a glass of water and leaving the rest of the glass on my bookshelf should I awake in the middle of the night with a terrible thirst.)

Anyways, I was on step one of the pre-sleep: episode of The Office. Which episode it was is not important; what is important is that my computer exploded. Not literally of course, or I would not be writing this, but my hard drive decided to have a meltdown and clicked out its revolution manifesto to me in a series of small, calculated beeps and hums. And then Macbook shut down and no amount of begging, sweet-talking, cursing, praying, and frustrated moans would revive it.

So I woke up this morning, brought it downtown to Rideau Centre in hopes that the folks at Apple Store wouldn't completely take me for all I'm worth. Keep in mind that my machine is two years old, my warranty is one year expired, and material replacements and service usually cost a fair amount.

I anticipated something in the realm of $250 and three weeks service. Instead, I walked out of Apple Store with a brand new installed hard drive, my old shatty hard drive, a list of Apple-recommended data retrieval companies, an upgrade from Tiger to Leopard, AND a full version of iLife '09. All for free. My faith in the Mac is restored.

As they say, "An Apple a day keeps the doctor away."

PS. Leopard is sweet.

21.9.09

Life Updates: Entry 1

Eddie said I should update my blog more often with more relevant information. That is, apparently it would be interesting once in a while to talk about how my life is going out here, while the rest of you kids do your thang out there.

So Eddie, here you go. I'll try my best to let you - and all of you - know that I'm still alive, at least on occasion.

Things from today:
1. I fell asleep in class. I seriously think I might have a medical condition when it comes to sleep.
2. I woke up at 4am with a MASSIVE calf spasm. I'm talking like, mother of all calf spasms. I limped around campus all day.
3. I wrote a song half an hour ago. It is called, "Let's Waste Time Together", is in the key of D, and is my new favourite song.
4. I bought ice cream. It is the first time in three years of groceries that I have allowed myself to buy ice cream.
5. Shaw and I had a good talk - and are still having a good talk as I type this - about girls, faith, and life.
6. I am alive.
7. I need to stop slacking and get my life in order.
8. My right leg is itchy.

That is all.

18.9.09

Things learned from September 18, 2009

Dear Chris, stop taking yourself so seriously.

10.9.09

Blast from the Past - Intro and #1: Be Yourself

Ok, so I was doing some housecleaning (read: I was browsing through old files on my lappie instead of paying attention during the first class of the year,) and I came across a couple of folders full of old stuff I've done from the past: for the local paper column, for school paper, for friends, for fun. I spent the following two hours of African Literature 3692 skimming over these old write-ups and smiling at how unrefined my writing style and sense of humour used to be. Not to say that either of the two has matured in any way but... whatevs.

Anyway, I thought it'd be cool in the future to post some of these gems for the ten of you (TEN FOLLOWERS!) who read this thang to check out and hopefully enjoy. I will call these little entries BFTPs, or Blast From The Past entries. Feel free to comment.

BFTP #1 - Be Yourself
Type: Editorial
For: Charles Best Grade 9 Survival Handbook (ECHO project)
Written: August 2005 (grade 11)

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Greetings, freshmen. This little bit of useful information that you're about to read is a welcome gift from me to you. You're welcome.

You know what confuses me sometimes? From the very beginning of school, when we were eating Playdough in kindergarten and shatting in our pants, all the way till now when we're bumming around in high school doing lines of coffee sugar and laughing at awesome BJ jokes, they constantly tell us to be different. Who's 'they' you ask? Well, let me tell you. 'They' is teachers, principals, parents, and society. Be original, they say. Be yourself, they say. Behave, they say. But almost all the time, their advice seems to go unheeded. Take notes, freshmen. When you get to Dr. Charles Best Secondary, you will automatically be labeled upon entry into our glorious school. Consider the following choices, and then choose the person that you would most like to be labeled as. Note that a student can belong to more than one group.
  • Jock A (athlete with little to no brain matter)
  • Jock B (athlete with a normal amount of brain matter)
  • Nerd* (child prodigy complete with thick glasses and lack of social life)
  • Geek* (Dungeons and Dragons and gameboy, oh my!)
  • Galactic Geek* (anyone obsessed with Star Wars, Star Trek, and star-fighter games)
  • Barbie Dolls (watch "Mean Girls". 'Nuff said.)
  • Students with a future in the sex-trade business (this kinda describes itself, doesn't it?)
  • Skaters (simply put, boarders or kids who dress like them)
  • Punk (two categories: hipster or grunge)
  • Emo (they're like punks, except darker and more annoying)
  • Asians (if you're Asian, then your problems are solved)
  • FOB Asians (if you're a FOB Asian, then your problems are just getting started)
  • Normal everyday'er (these students fill in the cracks between the aforementioned gorups. They're athletes, musicians, artists, and punks, all rolled into one.)
  • ??? (this could be you!)
*Note that nerds and geeks are often interchangeable. Star Trek and prowess in physics often go hand in hand.

If you actually chose a group that you would like to belong to, then congratulations, you're more gullible than I thought. At any rate, here's where I'm supposed to tell you that the best group to belong to is the ??? group and that you should be unlabeled and unique and all that Planning 10 choose-your-path shit. But because I care about you freshmen sooo much, I'm just gonna lay it out for you, straight up. If you want to be cool in high school, there are only two people that you should try to be: yourself, or me. If you have no idea who I am, feel free to look me up in the dictionary under "the epitome of cool" or in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Being me might be easier for Asians to pull off, seeing as how they share the same rough ancestry as I do, but white kids, don't give up. Turning Asian is but an attitude, RP, holla at me.) If you've got it, you'll never lose it.
So, I'll sum up exactly what's been said so that your little ninth grade cervical units can process it. Only losers can be labeled. If you truly desire to be high school cool, follow your heart (Disney, stand UP!) Or be like me. You won't regret it. I might even let you chill with me if I deem you worthy.
For those of you who have found this little pshbang discriminatory, or racist, or offensive, I have but one thing to say: get used to it. This is high school, my friends. So shut up, or get beat up.

But if you're with me, you'll never get beat up.

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